Musings of a roaming nature nerd

Thankfulness

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Spending the 150th anniversary of Thanksgiving (and my favorite holiday!) alone and sick is not what I anticipated this year. After a joyful reunion with my new heart-home, the Grand Canyon, I planned to spend one more weekend with my love in the southern desert, before returning here for the winter. Alas, like nature, the cold virus is unpredictable and I went down hard. Finding myself with generous amounts of quiet time, I allowed myself to partake in a favorite hobby of sorts: introspective, psychoanalytic, nature reflection. And I share these reflections in two different blog entries.
Two weeks ago I was reunited with several friends here at the canyon and one of them, Gaby, helped me learn a new way of giving thanks; thanks to the earth, the sky, the two-legged ones, the four-legged ones, and many other elements and creatures of this world. I realized that while expressing thanks for friends and family, for living in this beautiful country and enjoying a comfortable life, I rarely reflect on true thankfulness outside of this norm. Not being a religious person I do not chalk up life’s mysteries to a great spirit but I do believe that expressing thankfulness and gratefulness to the world helps bring us together and see the good in each other. To honor that thought, I found my weekend reflections turning to what Gaby shared with me.
I offer thanks to the Earth, with a capital E, for being so rich with life and beauty and culture that it has to be the best damn ride through the solar system we could ever have!
I offer thanks to the sky for producing rain and snow which freeze and then thaw in rock cracks on the ground, producing ice-wedging, and thereby eroding the Grand Canyon into the magnificent feature that it is today.
I offer thanks to the two-legged ones in the form of my grandmothers. One has been gone for almost 20 years and the other lives 2000 miles away, but both have always been a constant source of support and love throughout my life.
I offer thanks to the four-legged ones in the form of moose. These seemingly prehistoric creatures intrigued me from my first New Hampshire sightings years ago. Their solitary nature, their ability to eat 3% of their body weight every day (as someone who loves to eat I enjoy this in particular), their adaptation to winter so that they don’t feel cold until temperatures drop to about -30F, their tendencies to roam and disappear undetected, and their ability to hold their breath while eating vegetation at the bottom of ponds impresses me to no end.
I offer thanks to the winged-ones in the form of Least Bells Vireos. Not only does their existence provide me with regular employment, but they are feisty and spirited and secretive which resonates with me. I am also thankful that as an endangered bird they have been making a come back in part through habitat rehabilitation and protection.
I also lastly want to offer thanks to the moon, without which there would be no tides, and without which I never would have discovered the beauty of illuminated nighttime walks at the ocean with my someday-husband 14 years ago.
We all have more to be thankful for on a day to day basis than we realize. Heading into the hectic season of consumerism and distractions, simple reflection on true thankfulness regrounds me. What are you thankful for? What makes your world spin?

3 Responses

  1. Dad

    And PS: your pics in both posts are breathtaking! The icy trees are haunting – a perfect complement to your words. As always! :-)

    December 4, 2013 at 4:19 pm

  2. Dad

    One does not have to be religious to feel blessed in life. You’ve captured that beautifully. Grammy would have been touched to have been included in your reflections. Thank you for that.

    December 4, 2013 at 4:16 pm

  3. Momchester

    And I offer thanks for the joy and love you have brought to our lives. We are all better people for sharing life with you!

    December 3, 2013 at 11:39 am